The Steelers have placed inside linebacker Vince Williams on the COVID-19 reserve list, the team announced on Thursday afternoon.
Williams, 30, is in his eighth season with the team and had started all 12 games for the Steelers this season at inside linebacker. He will miss the team’s Sunday night game against the Buffalo Bills.
The COVID-19 list is both for players that have tested positive and for those that must isolate due to exposure to a positive case. Players that test positive with symptoms must sit out at least 10 days. Other can return in as soon as five days.
Inside linebacker has been a position of significant absences for the Steelers this season. Fellow starter Devin Bush was lost for the season to an ACL injury and was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 23 and will miss the rest of the season.
Backup Ulysees Gilbert III was placed on the injured reserve list on Nov. 4 with a back injury and just began his return to practice on Wednesday. Fellow backup Robert Spillane, who started seven games in place of Bush, suffered a knee injury in Monday evening’s loss to Washington and did not practice on Wednesday.
That leaves the Steelers with veteran Avery Williamson, who has played in four games since coming over from the New York Jets in a trade on Nov. 2 following Bush’s injury, and converted safety Marcus Allen, as the only inside linebackers on the team.
Second-year pro Tegray Scales is on the practice squad. He has never played an NFL game.
Williams is the second Steelers player on the COVID-19 reserve list, joining starting center Maurkice Pouncey, who could be eligible to come off the list before the Steelers visit Buffalo.